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Glenn Ford Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (2) | Spouse (4) | Trade Mark (1) | Trivia (37) | Personal Quotes (16)

Overview (4)

Date of Birth 1 May 1916Sainte-Christine-d'Auvergne, Portneuf, Québec, Canada
Date of Death 30 August 2006Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, California, USA  (complications from multiple strokes)
Birth NameGwyllyn Samuel Newton Ford
Height 5' 11" (1.8 m)

Mini Bio (2)

The son of a Canadian railroad executive, his family moved to Santa Monica, California, when he was eight years old. His acting career began with plays at high school, followed by acting in West Coast, a traveling theater company. In 1939 he took a screen test for Columbia Pictures, which won him a contract, although he debuted in 20th-Century-Fox's Heaven with a Barbed Wire Fence (1939). His rise to stardom was interrupted by military service during WWII. After the war he jump-started his career with Gilda (1946). His career during the 1940s and 1950s showed that his talents were extensive, playing film noir in The Big Heat (1953), westerns like 3:10 to Yuma (1957) and comedies like The Gazebo (1959) or The Teahouse of the August Moon (1956). He has usually been cast as a calm and collected everyday-hero, showing courage under pressure as in Blackboard Jungle (1955).

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Mattias Thuresson <mattias.thuresson@mbox300.swipnet.se>

Legendary actor Glenn Ford was discovered in 1939 by Tom Moore, a talent scout for 20th Century Fox. He subsequently signed a contract with Columbia Pictures the same year. Ford's contract with Columbia marked a significant departure in that studio's successful business model.

Columbia's boss, Harry Cohn, had spent decades observing other studios'-most notably Warner Brothers-troubles with their contract stars and had built his poverty-row studio around their loan-outs. Basically, major studios would use Columbia as a penalty box for unruly behavior-usually salary demands or work refusals. The cunning Cohn usually assigned these stars (his little studio could not normally afford then) into pictures, and the studio's status rose immensely as the 1930s progressed. Understandably, Cohn had long resisted developing his own stable of contract stars (he'd first hired German Peter Lorre in 1934 but didn't know what to do with him) but had relented in the late 1930s, first adding Rosalind Russell, then signing Ford and fellow newcomer William Holden. Cohn reasoned that the two prospects could be used interchangeably, should one become troublesome.

Although often competing for the same parts, the Ford and Holden became good friends. Their careers would roughly parallel each other through the 1940s, until Holden became a superstar through his remarkable association with director Billy Wilder in the 1950s. Ford made his official debut in Heaven with a Barbed Wire Fence (1939) and continued working in various small roles throughout the 1940s until his movie career was interrupted to join the Marines in World War II. Ford continued his military career in the Naval Reserve well into the Vietnam War, achieving the rank of captain.

In 1943 Ford married legendary tap dancer Eleanor Powell, and had one son, Peter Ford. Like many actors returning to Hollywood after the war (including James Stewart and Holden (who had already acquired a serious alcohol problem), he found it initially difficult to regain his career momentum. He was able to resume his movie career with the help of Bette Davis, who gave him his first postwar break in the 1946 movie A Stolen Life (1946). However, it was not until his acclaimed performance in a 1946 classic film noir, Gilda (1946), with Rita Hayworth, that he became a major star and one of the the most popular actors of his time. He scored big with the film noir classics The Big Heat (1953) and Blackboard Jungle (1955).

Ford continued to make many notable films during his prestigious 50-year movie career, but he is best known for his fine westerns such as 3:10 to Yuma (1957)and The Rounders (1965). Ford pulled a hugely entertaining turn in The Sheepman (1958) and many more fine films. In the 1970s, Ford made his television debut in the controversial The Brotherhood of the Bell (1970) and appeared in two fondly remembered television series: Cade's County (1971) and The Family Holvak (1975).

During the 1980s and 1990s, Ford limited his appearance to documentaries and occasional films, including a nice cameo in Superman (1978). Glenn Ford is remembered fondly by his fans for his more than 100 excellent films and his charismatic silver screen presence.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: <annemartel32@yahoo.com>

Spouse (4)

Jeanne Baus (5 March 1993 - 1994) (divorced)
Cynthia Hayward (10 September 1977 - 13 September 1984) (divorced)
Kathryn Hays (27 March 1966 - 26 June 1969) (divorced)
Eleanor Powell (23 October 1943 - 23 November 1959) (divorced) (1 child)

Trade Mark (1)

Western cowboy roles

Trivia (37)

Glenn appeared in 5 movies with classic leading actress, Rita Hayworth: Affair in Trinidad (1952), The Lady in Question (1940), The Loves of Carmen (1948), The Money Trap (1965) and Gilda (1946).
Awarded the French Legion of Honor Medal (Legion d'Honneur), and appointed to the rank of Knight of the Legion of Honor in 1992, by the French Government for service in World War II. Created to honor extraordinary contributions to the Republic of France, the Legion of Honor is France's highest distinction.
Inducted into the Hall of Great Western Performers at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in 1978.
Voted the number one box office attraction for 1958 by the National Association of Theatre Owners.
Often during his career Ford insisted on being shot looking to camera left - he had been kicked in the right side of his jaw by a horse and insisted the left side of his face was his only filmable side.
He is credited with being the fastest "gun" in Hollywood westerns, able to draw and fire in 0.4 seconds, he was faster than James Arness (Matt Dillon of Gunsmoke (1955)) and John Wayne.
Related to Sir John A. Macdonald, first Prime Minister of Canada.
He is a direct descendant of the eighth President of the United States, Martin Van Buren.
Grandfather of Aubrey Newton Ford (b. 1977), Ryan Welsie Ford (b. 1984), and Eleanor Powell Ford (b. 1988), whose parents are Ford's son, Peter Ford (b. 5 February 1945), and his wife, Lynda Gundersen.
Served in Vietnam as a reserve military officer.
Went on a jungle mission with a Special Forces Team during the Vietnam War.
Retired from acting in 1991, at age 75, following heart and circulatory problems.
On May 1st, 2006, Glenn had a gala 90th birthday celebration at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood. There was a showing of a newly-restored print of Gilda (1946) and his son, Peter Ford, hosted the event. Over 700 tickets went on sale and were quickly sold out.
Ford had been scheduled to make his first public appearance in fifteen years at a 90th birthday tribute gala in his honor hosted by the American Cinematheque at Grauman's Eqyptian Theatre in Hollywood on 1 May 2006, but he was unable to attend. He had suffered a series of minor strokes since his retirement, and was consequently very frail.
Was half Welsh, his mother was from Pontypridd in south Wales.
Has family roots in the English town of Horwich, near Bolton, Lancashire.
Played "Jonathan Kent" in the 1978 film Superman (1978). In Superman Returns (2006), a photograph of him as "Jonathan Kent" can be seen in Clark Kent's old home. "Superman Returns" was released two months and two days prior to Ford's death, and this photo reference is the last time he will be referenced as Jonathan Kent, before the Superman reboot with Henry Cavill.
Like his close friend Ronald Reagan, Ford started as a Democrat but gradually switched to becoming a conservative Republican.
After having been a member of the Coast Guard Auxiliary for a year, he joined the Marine Corps during WWII in December of 1942, and subsequently met first wife, tap-dancing extraordinaire Eleanor Powell, at a war-bond cavalcade. They married in 1943.
His first screen test at 20th Century Fox did not turn out well. He was given a second chance by Columbia a year later, however, and was signed.
During his salad days, he worked in a Santa Monica bar as a barkeep for $5 a week.
Despite his excellence and popularity as a star, he was never nominated for an Oscar.
Parents were Newton and Hannah Ford. His father did not block his movie star aspirations but insisted that he learn a trade first. He listened and became an expert on plumbing, wiring and air-conditioning. He also worked as a roofer and installer of plate-glass windows.
He was a close friend of William Holden.
Member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (Actors Branch).
Received a special tribute as part of the Annual Memorial tribute at The 79th Annual Academy Awards (2007).
He was replaced by Robert Mitchum in African Skies (1991) after being hospitalized with blood clots in his legs.
According to a biography of Sam Peckinpah, Ford was considered for Robert Ryan's role in The Wild Bunch (1969).
In 1967, Naval Reserve Officer Lt. Cmdr. Ford (then aged 50) volunteered to serve for three months as a liaison officer attached to a Marine unit, with the Marine rank of full Colonel, in Vietnam, and on several occasions endured enemy shelling.
Quit smoking cigarettes in 1958.
Ford had intended to portray Hondo Lane in Hondo (1953), but backed out when John Farrow was chosen to direct. Ford and Farrow did not got along while making Plunder of the Sun (1953), causing Ford to lose interest in the role. The role was subsequently portrayed by John Wayne.
Actively campaigned for Adlai Stevenson in the 1956 presidential election, and attended the Democratic National Convention that year.
Took up hang gliding at the age of 64.
Was once engaged to Evelyn Ankers.
In 1938, Glenn Ford was John Beal's understudy in the West Coast stage production of "Soliloquy".
In 1951, RKO Radio Pictures attempted to compose a film-noir, to be entitled "The Sins of Sarah Ferry." The story was to be about a Binghamton, New York courthouse clerk, who finds herself falling in love with a beautiful liar who is accused of armed robbery as well as a hit and run charge involving a death. The cast was to have included Laraine Day, Fred MacMurray, Yvonne De Carlo, Hugh Beaumont, Glenn Ford, Howard Duff, and Evelyn Keyes, with the studio wanting to shoot on location in Binghamton and neighboring Johnson City. The project never materialized because the plot was considered too much of a generic step-up of Double Indemnity (1944), plus the studio never received a reply via phone or standard mail, from the Binghamton Courthouse, or from then Mayor Donald Kramer, granting permission to film on location in the area, and to negotiate a fair range of payment. Based on that neglect, the studio canceled the project and moved on.

Personal Quotes (16)

When I'm on camera, I have to do things pretty much the way I do things in everyday life. It gives the audience someone real to identify with.
People laugh when I say I'm not an actor, but I'm not, I play myself.
The Western is a man's world and I love it.
I've never played anyone but myself on screen.
If they tried to rush me, I'd always say I've only got one other speed, and it's slower.
"Let's never forget that to remain free we must always be strong. That's an important lesson I learned in my Navy career in World War II. National defense must be the top priority for our country. If you are strong, you are safe. Now is the time for every American to be proud. This is the land of the free and the home of the brave. If we are not brave, we will not be free." (2004)
"Never give up. Take what life throws at you and throw it right back. If life keeps throwing then you have a tennis match going. Learn to like tennis." (2002)
Ronald Reagan was a true friend and an American Patriot. We are proud of him and his service to the country. We need men like him today.
[In westerns] you don't have to speak English to understand what's going on. I've always said the talking pictures talk too much anyway.
I'm out of place doing sophistication. I'm so uncomfortable in a tuxedo.
When I see films that go on and on with dialogue, I feel like telling the actors, "Be quiet! Let the audience do some of the work!" (from a 1975 interview with Bob Thomas, Canadian Press)
Some actors count their lines as soon as they receive a script. I'm the opposite. I try to see how many lines I can whittle down...You can say just as much in 4 as you can in 14.
Hell, no actor is going to tell Frank Capra how to make a picture. He has forgotten more about movie-making than most directors ever know.
Americans playing Shakespeare are really ridiculous.
Asked how he wished to be remembered: He did his best and he believed in God.
I wish I were up and around, but I'm doing the best that I can. There's so much I have to be grateful for. (1 May 2006)

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